“Changes to early voting, Wisconsin presidential primary would cost taxpayers millions under GOP plan”

Patrick Marley for the Journal-Sentinel:

Voting changes Republican lawmakers are considering passing Tuesday would cost taxpayers millions of dollars — and perhaps far more than believed just a few days ago.

In their lame-duck session, GOP lawmakers hope to limit early voting to two weeks and move the 2020 presidential primary from April to March, causing the state to hold three elections instead of two that spring.

Moving the presidential primary will cost about $7 million, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

But the restriction on early voting could add even more costs because the state is sure to face a legal challenge over it if it passes. A similar lawsuit was struck down by U.S. District Judge James Peterson, who found the limit was unconstitutional because it was aimed at helping Republicans by deterring minorities from voting.

If the state loses on the issue, taxpayers would likely have to pay the attorney fees for those bringing the case.

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